Round-up: 2024 Early Career Grants Programme applications

31 May 2024

Tamar Ghosh provides a breakdown of the applications to this year's Early Career Grants programme - another record-breaking year for applications. 

We have once again been delighted to see an increase in the number of applications to our Early Career Grants Programme this year - receiving 2,828 applications, compared to 2,127 last year.    

The aim of our Early Careers Grants Programme is to help encourage the next generation of global health and tropical medicine professionals by providing them with the opportunity to conduct their first piece of research. The grant provides them with up to £5,000 to undertake a one-year research project in any area of tropical medicine or global health. 

The Programme funds projects across the research spectrum, from initial lab-based studies, through translation, implementation, community and policy-related research. Across 2,828 applications, there is an enormous variety of problems and research questions in global health or tropical medicine to tackle. We hope these projects will help to identify the innovations and discoveries that change all of our work, helping us to achieve health equity and the eradication of even more diseases. 

We are now working with our team of Global Assessors to check and assess all the applications and will update you over the coming months on when the funds will be awarded. 

In the meantime, we wanted to share some data on the diversity and breadth of the applications. 

Number of applications

This year the applications have increased by 33% to reach 2,828, and since 2017 this represents an increase by a factor of 13 from just 216. 

We are still completing our awards for 2023, but have currently awarded 234 individuals, with a potential 25 more to come. In 2024 we hope to award at least 250 grants, which would maintain the chances of achieving an award as just over one in ten. Since 2017 the chances have improved from one in 39.  

Gender balance

This year the gender split is 57% male, 42% female, with just under 1% preferring not to say. This compares favourably to last year in terms of gender equity when we had 54% male applicants, 46% female. 

Given the increase in number of applications from last year, it’s great to see we are still achieving a similar portion of females to males.  

We continue to do all we can to try and achieve and maintain an equitable balance at this very early research level, as we are aware that the gender gap between male and female widens significantly at more senior levels in our sector. 


Diversity in terms of nationality has slightly decreased in our applicants from last year. Applications this year were from individuals with 88 nationalities, compared with 102 last year. 
The map shows the range of applications across regions of the world, with many regions showing at least one application.  

The nationalities which saw applications of 100 or more were Ugandan (604), Nigerian (568), Ethiopian (259), Tanzanian (233), Kenyan (198), Cameroonian (118), Ghanaian (116) and Indian (110).  
We would like to thank our Student and Country Ambassadors, our members, Fellows and networks for continuing to raise awareness of the programme.

Where research is being carried out

The countries where research is being carried out this year largely match the countries where our applications are based, as you can see from the map above. The range of countries is slightly less than last year, with 96 countries represented, compared with 107 in 2023.  

The top countries in terms of research projects match exactly the countries mentioned before, under nationality.  

This reflects the incredible range of countries of relevance to our work, and we are so very proud to be able to consider applications from so many countries and regions of the globe.  

Disease areas

As with last year, the spectrum of disease and global health topics is very broad, please see the highlights above. The most frequent diseases and areas of health being quoted by applicants include one or more NTDs (404), NCDs (241), AMR (229), and Malaria (222).  
There are a few other notable subjects including cancer (180), maternal and reproductive health (153), HIV (141), TB (112), Mental health (105), infectious diseases (98), zoonotic diseases and one health (87).  

It is great to see the disease and health areas of the research ideas broadening out alongside the well-established and important areas we have been working on for some time.


We ask applicants to tell us which sector they are working in to measure our goal of ensuring all those working in tropical medicine and global health can access our Early Career Grants, regardless of the sector they are in. In this way we aim to broaden the range of individuals involved in research at an early stage, to see if it's something they could do more of.  

This year we received applications from 1,330 out of 2,828 from the world of academia. However, there is again an increase in the portion of applications from other sectors such as clinical and nursing. 

As the Early Career Grants Programme continues to grow, we will continue to encourage as broad a participation as possible.

Supply and demand

Last year, we were lucky enough to have support from donors such as NIHR, ITI, Wellcome, and IACS who were able to fund over 234 applications.  

We are currently in discussion with a range of current and new donors and will be sharing an update on this soon in the newsletter and on our website. 

It is our hope to be able to fund as many quality applications as possible this year, although this depends on topic areas, assessments and other funds available. 

If you know of any partners who may want to join in the success of the programme by funding a number of early career researchers, please tell them to get in touch.  

Watch this space for further reports as we move through the assessment to awarding our next group of applicants. We wish all applicants who are through to the next stage of assessment the very best of luck.